He is joined on the front row by fellow WSR BMW driver Sam Tordoff. Collard nearly completed a WSR Lock out of the top three positions but could only manage fourth.
Mat Jackson had held pole position for most of the session which was halted twice. Jackson had lost his best lap time due to track limits infringements but was so consistent with his quick times that he remained on pole for most of the session. The red flag of the session was due to Jeff Smith and Daniel Welch going off at the first corner in separate incidents. Smith was able to continue but Welch had gone off because his front suspension had failed and he was out.
Jackson would have probably rather the session stayed halted because once the second red flag was withdrawn he lost two spots in the space of five minutes. Third is still a great result for the Kent based Motorbase team on only their second BTCC meeting of the season.
Local Hero Gordon Shedden could only manage fifth in the end after heading the two practice sessions but will hope to use his Knockhill experience to fight his way up the field. Rob Austin is an excellent sixth for Exocet Alcosense but team mate Hunter Abbott lost out when he lost his best times due to a track limits infringement. This dropped him a long way down the order to twenty first.
Matt Neal took seventh in the second works Honda Civic with Andrew Jordans works MG just behind in eighth. Colin Turkington was the best of the Team BMR VW CC’s in ninth. His three team mates didn’t fare so well with Smith Fourteenth, Scott seventeenth and Plato all the way down in twenty second, the lowest position of his career. This was the result of the success ballast from Snetterton, running wide on two quick laps and an undiagnosed suspension problem. It looks likely that Plato will start from the pitlane and attempt to gain pole for race two by setting the fastest lap.
Adam Morgan was the final driver to make the top ten in his Wix Racing Mercedes A-Class. Aiden Moffat in his similar Laser Tools Racing machine had held tenth for a lot of the session but Morgan just snatched it in the final minutes. Behind them comes Tom Ingram in his Speedworks Toyota Avensis just in front of Jack Goff, another driver suffering from Snetterton success ballast. The final two slots in the top fifteen were taken by the two (unrelated) Smiths with Jeff Smith in the Eurotech Honda Civic unable to match his practice pace.
The field is incredibly close with the gap from first to twenty third being less than a second. If you discount the cars with slow lap times due to issues (Welch and Gallagher) the rest of the field down to twenty seventh is separated by under two seconds.
Race one gets underway on Sunday at 11:45am. Tickets are available on the gate if you’re close enough to make the trip. Otherwise it’ll be live on ITV4 as always.
Full times from this session are available from the championship’s official timers; TSL Timing. By Marc Waller